What's different this year?
First of all, the name. The OCaml Summer Project is being renamed to
the Jane Street Summer Project, in order to reflect a broader scope.
We're not dropping the focus on our favorite language, but we've
decided to experiment with opening up funding to other functional
programming languages such as Haskell, F#, SML and Scheme.
We're also changing how funding works, particularly in the US. After
some feedback last year, we've decided to give faculty more discretion
in the running of the project. As such, we're structuring the funding
as an unrestricted grant to the supervising faculty member to use as
they see fit. All proposals should now include requested funding
levels, which will make it easier to tune the funding to the needs of
Funding outside of the US will still be structured as direct payments
to students, but this year we will ask faculty members to make
recommendations as to funding levels.
Our goal for both the US and abroad is for funding levels to be at
20%-40% above what would be available to a student through an ordinary
summer research position, and to provide additional funding to the
faculty member at roughly $2k USD per month of the project.
How do I apply?
Applications should come jointly from the students who will work on
the project and the faculty member who will mentor it. The application
should include basic information about the participants (name, contact
information, current educational institution and position within that
The application should also include a project proposal. The goal of a
JSSP project should be to create open-source software that makes the
target language a better practical tool for people using the language
as a means rather than an end. A project should aim to produce
working and usable code by the end of the summer.
The proposal should have a short abstract, and should be no more than
10000 characters in full, and shorter is better. You should include a
description of the project you propose as well as a description of how
you intend to go about it. Your description might, for instance,
include an overview of your proposed design and implementation
strategy, intended platforms, and plans for documentation, testing,
and licensing any resulting code.
The application should also include a recommendation from the faculty
member, explaining why the faculty member thinks the students in
question are well equipped to do the project they propose. The faculty
should also propose funding levels and a breakdown of what the faculty
member would expect to use the funds for (the breakdown would not be
considered binding). The application should be in plain-text (no Word
files or PDFs). All materials should be emailed to
by the faculty member.
Which languages can I target?
We don't have strict rules on which languages you can work with, but
we do have some general guidelines. We want to focus on languages
that are already reasonably popular within the functional programming
community and that have solid implementations and significant
communities of users. Good candidates include languages like OCaml,
SML, Haskell, Scheme, and F#. Note that while this year we have
opened up to languages beyond OCaml, we still intend to focus funding
on OCaml in preference to the other languages on the list.
There are many fine programming langauges that to varying degrees
support functional paradigms but are not primarily functional
languages. It is beyond the scope of the JSSP to support projects
working in these langauges. As such, we are not accepting proposals
Note that a project doesn't necessarily need to be written in the
language it's aimed at benfiting. For example, a project to extend
eclipse to work better with SML would likely end up with large parts
written in Java. Such a project would be entirely appropriate for the
What's the schedule?
All applications are due by March 31st. Awards will be announced on
We expect schedules to vary from project to project, but all projects
should aim to be completed by the end-of-summer meeting. The meeting
will be in late August or early September. The exact timing will be
finalized based on the needs of the accepted projects.
How does funding work?
As mentioned above, funding will be determined project by project. As
a rough guideline, we would like to fund students at a higher level
than funding that would ordinarily be available for a summer research
position, and to in addition to that fund professors at roughly a rate
of $2k/month USD.
Can teams of students apply?
Yes, we will consider teams of 2 or 3 students. We tend to think that
2 is the optimal team size for a project like this. In such cases,
compensation will take place on an individual basis. We would, of
course, expect such teams to attack more ambitious projects.
A group of students can if they feel it necessary propose more than
one project, but each project should reference the other, so it is
clear to the reviewers that the projects are an either-or proposition.
But please don't abuse the privelege.
What will happen at the end-of-summer meeting?
The meeting will take place at Jane Street’s offices in Manhattan. The
meeting is meant to be a way for students to present their work, to
meet other people from the community, and also to take a look around
the city. We’ll arrange for talks on subjects related to functional
programming from researchers in the field.
Jane Street will pay for your travel and lodging expenses for this
trip, including international travel.
How do I arrange for a travel Visa for the end-of-summer meeting?
Jane Street does not provide any legal help in arranging for travel
visas for foreign participants. You might find the following websites
* [US Department of state travel site](http://travel.state.gov/)
* [The US Visa Waiver Program (VWP)](http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/without/without_1990.html)
Who is eligible?
Only undergraduate or graduate students can participate in the
program. If requested, you should be ready to provide transcripts from
your institution as proof of enrollment or admission status.
Jane Street employees, interns, contractors, family members, or
citizens of Iran, Cuba, Sudan, North Korea and Myanmar (Burma), with
whom we are prohibited by U.S. law from engaging in commerce, are
ineligible to participate. You must also be eligible to work in the
country in which you’ll reside throughout the duration of the program.
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